I’ve always heard the owners of old Versatile tractors talk glowingly about these workhorses. This spring, I’ve been running an old, old Versatile on the air drill and I too have become a fan. Versatile 835, 855 and 875 tractors are about 30 years old, but there are still lots of them in operation. To get extra hydraulic capacity to run the fan on an air drill, many have been retrofitted with a separate hydraulic system. Shopping around this spring, you could find these models of Versatile with hours ranging from four or five thousand all the way to ten thousand. I bought my tractor at an auction sale and then spent about half the purchase price in repairs. For a no-frills tractor, the cab is reasonably quiet, the radio can reach more stations than newer tractors, the engine has an impressive amount of torque, and it seems to be reasonably economical on fuel. Of course, it’s old and worn and has some quirks, but it also has some really neat features. There’s an extra fuel gauge right by the filler cap and the decelerator pedal is really handy for slowing down as you turn on the headlands. I’ve had auto steer installed in the old girl and it is a little strange to see a high tech system in such an ancient tractor. I’m Kevin Hursh.
Kevin Hursh, PAg, CAC